Published: 06:00, 24 January 2020
Cars could be banned from driving in Deal High Street on Saturdays.
Deal Town Council is exploring the idea of extending the pedestrianised area of the High Street on the town's busiest day of the week via a survey.
It would mean all private motor vehicles included blue badge holders, commercial vehicles, motorbikes, buses and bicycles would be banned from using the High Street from Park Street to Union Road as well as King Street.
This would result in a loss of car parking spaces. Emergency vehicles would still have access.
The ban would be enforced from 8am until 5pm and is aimed at 'continuing the retail buoyancy' of the town.
Chairman of the Transport and Infrastructure committee, Cllr Ben Bano, said: "We are concious that there are pros and cons to this proposal and that people feel very strongly both ways, which is why we have launched this consultation and we encourage people to take part to express their views.
"The cons are mainly that traffic would be affected but on the other hand it would increase our air quality, provide an opportunity towards the northern end of the High Street for businesses to flourish, and enhance the visitor experience.
"We live in an era where we're trying to reduce car usage where we're able to and this would be a step towards that.
"However, it's the start of a long process. If the consultation suggests overwhelmingly that we should proceed we will have to engage with other parties to make it a reality.
"It's just to find out whether we should put those works into effect."
Deal High Street was pedestrainised from South Street to Park Street in 1987 and the retail area has continued to flourish against the general trend across the UK.
The High Street was recognised six years ago when The Daily Telegraph awarded it 'High Street of the Year'.
Despite the loss of some major retailers like M&S and New Look, many independent businesses, particularly towards the north end of the town, continue to open their doors.
More than 300 people have already responded to the survey which can be completed by hand or online.
It is available from shops in the non pedestrianised part of the High Street or online at: https://www.deal.gov.uk/Deal-TC/news_and_notices-13564.aspx
It must be returned by Saturday, February 1 to Deal Town Hall.
There will also be a display inside Deal Town Hall chamber from 11am until 5pm on Wednesday, January 29 where members of the public can give their feedback.
More by this authorEleanor Perkins